The waters off Hancock and Washington County have been very productive for lobster fishermen in the last few years. And when business is good, more people want in.
Here in the Maine Department of Marine Resources’ (DMR) Lobster Management Zone B, though, a strict limited entry system has resulted in a very long waiting list for new commercial lobster licenses. The current limited entry ratio in Zone B is one new license issued for every five licenses retired.
Most of the people on the waiting list already are fishing for a living, but they don’t work for themselves. They’re working as sternmen, second or third hands on someone else’s boat operating under someone else’s license.
DMR Resource Coordinator Sarah Cotnoir told a meeting of the Zone B Management Council last Wednesday that between 2012 and 2014, only two fishermen were issued new licenses off the waiting list in Zone B.
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